Barcelona’s season opener against Real Sociedad was nearly perfect. Even without Lionel Messi, the forwards seemed to be in sync, the midfielders sharp, and the defense more than decent. Their goal is to go two for two as they take on Athletic Bilbao in the second game of the La Liga season. Watch Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona live stream here:
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona
22 August 2021,
US ET: 4 pm. US PT: 1 pm. UK: 9 pm.
VENUE: San Mamés
Ever since Marcelino García Toral became Athletic manager, this has quickly become a heated rivalry with these teams facing off four times in the first five months of 2021. Bilbao plays physical, defensive football and make it very tough for Barça, but the amazing win from the Catalans in the Copa del Rey Final was a necessary humbling for Athletic.
Philippe Coutinho, Miralem Pjanic, and Samuel Umtiti have not been called up for the second game running. While Pjanic and Umtiti have been linked to exits, Coutinho’s physical condition may not be good enough to get a run in the team.
A new season has started and the Leones are dealing with several injuries and had a very disappointing 0-0 draw away to Elche in the opening game, so they’ll be hoping to rebound from a tough start with a big win against Barça in front of their crazy fans.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Neto; Dest, García, Piqué, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Griezmann, Memphis, Braithwaite
Athletic (4-4-2): Agirrezabala; De Marcos, Yeray, Martínez, Balenziaga; Berenguer, García, Vencedor, Muniain; Williams, Sancet
- Barcelona have won 12 of their last 15 matches against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga (D2 L1), including each of the last three. They have nine clean sheets in these 15 games.
- Athletic Bilbao have not won any of their last five La Liga games (D2 L3), failing to score in each of their last four.
- Barcelona have lost just one of their last 20 visits to Basque sides in La Liga (W14 D5), although this defeat came against Athletic Bilbao in 2019.
- Iker Muniain has been directly involved in three of Athletic Bilbao’s last six home goals against Barcelona in La Liga (2G 1A).
- Barcelona’s Antoine Greizmann has been directly involved in 15 goals against Athletic in La Liga (9G 6A), more than he has against any other opponent.
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